Nothin’ But Trouble (Echoes of Ossiria #1)
Publication date: Sept. 30, 2014
Genre: Contemporary paranormal fantasy
Blurb: Trouble—that’s what Catherine was from the day William laid eyes on her. He didn’t get involved with clients, and after his sire broke his heart and abandoned him, women were of little interest beyond sating his occasional lust. But when a college girl is dumped in his lap, he soon discovers an irresistible temptation he only has six weeks to explore.
NOTE: This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.
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William came in, his eyes always assessing her. “Get enough to eat?”
Should she be honest? “N-no, sir,” she mumbled.
He snorted. “Tallis never did remember the practical things.” He opened the refrigerator, then tossed a carrot on the table. “You’ll be on a strict diet, here. No snacks or sweets or junk. Finish that, and I’ll take you to your room.”
She was getting her own room?
She bit off the end of the carrot, wishing it had been peeled first. The outer skin was always a bit bitter.
Her new captor heated something in a mug, watching her as he sipped it. He would be handsome if he didn’t look so stern and cold. She felt like a bug under a microscope.
“Come on,” he finally barked. “It’s getting early.”
She wiped her mouth with a napkin and nodded, rising from her seat. He steered her where he wanted to go by putting a firm, strong hand on her shoulder. His grip wasn’t painful, but definitely unyielding. She figured he could probably crush her shoulder with one squeeze if he wanted to.
They went up two flights of stairs to the top floor and down a long hall. He finally stopped at a door and took a key out of his pocket to unlock it.
“This door has no internal lock. It will be locked from the outside whenever you are in here until we know you can be trusted. Don’t bother trying to escape out the windows—you can’t.”
The light flicked on, and she saw a surprisingly pretty bedroom. There was a twin size canopy bed opposite the door and a matching dresser against the wall in dark-stained wood. The walls were papered with medium blue brocade, and the linens were cream. There was a pile of boxes in the corner.
“My things?” she gasped, her voice barely above a whisper.
“Tallis was very thorough,” he said. “The loo is through there. Nothing fancy. Understand, Catherine, that anything can be given or taken away depending on your behavior.”
“Yes, sir. May I ask a question?”
He pursed his lips, but nodded consent.
“What exactly am I here to learn?”
“Many things. By now, you might’ve guessed you are not among human life as you know it—you’re among demons. As many species of animals on this planet, you’ll find just as many demons, and they range from barely more than animals, to highly powerful evil beings. In Tallis’s case, there’s not an ounce of humanity left in him. The pompous bastard likes to make certain appearances, and that’s where you come in. You’ve heard of a courtesan?”
“Well, in the absence of his sire or his childe, both of which have run off for their own schemes, he chose you. He likes to have a lady on his arm that enjoys the bloodshed as much as he does. That’s where turning you comes into play. But…Tallis has his games, and so he wants you built up before he tears you down.” Catherine’s blood ran cold at the thought. He noticed. “Did he hurt you at all before bringing you here?” he asked.
“A cut on my ankle.”
“Let me see.”
She sat down on the bed and removed her shoe and sock, wincing as the sock pulled the scab away. He grabbed her ankle and turned it so he could properly look at the wound. The edges of the cuts were pink.
“I’ll send someone up with a first aid kit. This looks on the verge of infection.”
“Thank you,” she whispered. His fingers on her skin were warmer than she expected now.
William let go and straightened to his full height. “Get some sleep. Your lessons start this evening.” With that, he left, locking the door behind him.
Finally alone for the first time in hours, she let her tears fall.
Author bio: Vivian Lane is an American author. Born a Gemini, her interests fall under a myriad of subjects including classical music, American and World History; fantasy books, TV shows, and movies; travel, marine biology, and fashion.